Only an optimized website can climb up the search rankings. And you need good search engine optimization (SEO), decent keywords and quality websites for link building to achieve this. Such a task list seems easy enough, and people think they can’t go wrong. 

News flash: They can, and they have.

Otherwise, we would only have success stories and no educational articles about SEO best practices. If you wonder what mistakes you can make in the process of creating and implementing a strategy, read the following five bad SEO practices.

We will focus on false automatization, poor backlinks and other mishaps that can be avoided.

Mistake 1: Automatically Generated Content

Automation is the key to success nowadays. But not all automation is beneficial for your website.

For example, many people think that computer-generated content is suitable for all kinds of articles. They assign artificial intelligence (AI) software tools to write long-form guides and other very important pieces of content. And while these tools can do the job, the finished piece may not read like something a human copywriter would produce. Most of these tools lack the human touch and cause you to lose your audience’s trust.

Don’t let this happen. Instead, hire professionals who will research the topic well and create compelling articles your readers will love and other bloggers will share, adding high-quality backlinks to your portfolio. You can also boost user-generated content with social media engagement.

Mistake 2: Overstuffing Pages With Keywords

Choosing great focus keywords is very important. But overcrowding a text with them will make it unreadable and can destroy your reputation. Excessive keyword placement is one of the worst SEO practices because:

  • Search engines will consider your site spam and may penalize it
  • Readers will leave immediately since the text isn’t useful

Place the chosen keywords into the metadata (again, don’t overstuff; this applies to meta keywords, as well), heading, subheadings, text, image alt-tags and file names. These are strategically important places you can optimize to impact the rankings.

People tend to throw lots of keywords into the metadata that’s hidden from the reader’s eye inside the code. They think this approach will persuade crawlers to rank the page higher. In reality, this is bad SEO.

One of the worst examples is a hidden keyword bundle, where bloggers post hundreds of keywords, making the font color the same as the background one, which many readers will notice anyway.

Quality optimization means you choose the most suitable phrases and use them strategically. With proper structure and quality, your SEO keyword rankings are on their way up.

Mistakes 3: Backlinks From Spammy Websites

Search engines have become increasingly more meticulous with checking links for relevance and quality. So, it’s much better to get one link from the leading website in your industry than a hundred of them from SEO spammers.

The fastest way to make your ratings deteriorate is to post tons of backlinks somewhere on a website with thousands of them already published. 

The best way to make your ratings improve, on the other hand, is to write high-quality content and guest posts, get backlinks the white-hat way and maintain your reputation by providing great customer service.

Only get trusted and relevant backlinks from sources that share your philosophy and niche. These sources should be credible, have a better ranking than you (ideally) and have an active audience.

These sites can eventually become your partners. Later on, you can start collaborating with them by creating guest infographics with their content, writing large guides together and more.

Mistake 4: Copying Your or Someone Else’s Articles

Often, after publishing a massive piece of content, bloggers will want to keep sharing the piece, inserting quotes and making this one article the highlight of their content marketing. This can work for you, but only if you do it wisely.

Don’t focus on one piece in every next article you write. Focus on creating unique content, doing new research and publishing new data. You need to rank other pages with new, fresh ideas, instead of just the one.

Any topic can evolve. Make sure yours does. If you lack ideas, contact special agencies that will find you a content manager and a copywriter. They will surf the web for ideas that are underdeveloped but suit your theme perfectly. 

By continuously looking for new topics, you’ll be able to maintain the flow of high-quality articles.

Another mistake is copying someone else’s content.

This is the easiest way to get penalized and lose all trust from your readers and potential customers. You can choose topics your competitors covered and do it differently or better. But never rewrite their articles and publish them as yours.

It’s much more effective (and interesting) to create your own articles, refer to others as sources for inspiration and quote them where needed. Don’t steal ideas; one day, someone might steal yours.

Mistake 5: Clickbaiting of Any Kind

There are plenty of white-hat methods to increase blog rankings, and you can use any of them for free to create an effective strategy.

And clickbaiting isn’t one of them.

Any form of clickbating will drive many of your readers away from the page. Put yourself in their shoes: It’s annoying to find a seemingly groundbreaking title and end up reading a mediocre piece of content.

Instead of creating manipulative cliffhangers for titles, be creative. Respect your readers’ time. Pull them in without overpromising on what they will get from your content.

Avoid These Mistakes To Build a Positive Reputation

There are many more mistakes you can make, such as buying backlinks in bulk, cloaking (showing one version of the site to crawlers and another one to the visitors), invisible keywords and many more.

Anything that crosses the line of black-hat SEO is harmful to your rankings. You’ll only waste time looking for ways to deceive search engines for a”quick” win – time that should be spent creating a content plan of relevant articles, writing great pieces and promoting the blog.

So practice good SEO, research keywords properly, insert them where needed without overcrowding and write high-quality content.

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By Margaret Blank

At the moment I am an expert-analyst in the field of search engine optimization, leading several projects and consulting on website optimization and promotion, I am actively involved in various thematic seminars and conferences.

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